Hong Kong leader says she hoped peaceful protest as turning point

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019   •   182

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (August 20) she hoped the peaceful protest over the weekend was the start of an effort to restore peace in the city and that the government would speak to peaceful protesters as well as tackle complaints against police.

Lam said the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPPC), had set up a task force to investigate complaints about police actions, whilst also reiterating that there is no plan to revive the controversial extradition bill.

“One is an important fact-finding study in addition to a very robust system to investigate and look at the complaints against police over this prolonged period of confrontations and violence. The other is a more rare arrangement, is for the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Council), which is statutory and independent, to create a fact finding study into the causes and the facts of these incidents. So, I hope that this is a very responsible response to the aspirations for better understanding of what has taken place in Hong Kong,” she said.

“The second area of work that I have announced, which will give us much better basis to address some anxieties and differences in society, is we will start immediately a platform for dialogue with people from all walks of life. So, this is something that we want to do in a very sincere and humble manner. I and my principal officials are committed to listen to what the people have to tell us and we want to reach out to the community as soon as possible,” she added.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in the Chinese-ruled city amidst torrential rain on Sunday (August 18) in the eleventh week of what have often been violent demonstrations.

Aside from Lam’s resignation, demonstrators have five demands – complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a halt to descriptions of the protests as “riots”, a waiver of charges against those arrested, an independent inquiry and resumption of political reform. (Reuters)

(Production: Ronn Bautista, Joyce Zhou, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

PhilHealth to collide with UNTV Cup champion AFP on Sunday

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2019

PhilHealth and Agriculture will be on the same court on Sunday’s (September 22, 2019) UNTV Cup at Pasig City Sports Center but will face different teams.

 Witness three-time runner up Malacañang-PSC Kamao go against two-time champion Judiciary Magis on Sunday (September 22).

PhilHealth Plus will banner its five new players in the 8th season of the league of public servants, UNTV Cup.

According to Coach Delio Aseron, their team had played in various leagues during the off season as part of preparation.

Ang paghahanda na ginawa natin we participated doon sa Government Corporations Athletic Association o GCAA kung saan nag champion po sa open ang PhilHealth for five years na and nanalo po kami sa seniors first time,” Coach Delio Aseron said.

(Part of our preparation was our participation at the GCAA or Government Corporation Athletic Association where PhilHealth was the champion for five years already in the open category and first-time champion in senior’s category.)

PhilHealth’s first game of the season will be against the defending champion, AFP Cavaliers in the second game of the triple-header on Sunday, 3PM at Pasig City Sports Center.

“Expect niyo po PhilHealth lalaban kahit maliit kami… hopefully we utilize our speed para exciting games,” Coach Aseron added.

(Expect PhilHealth to fight despite of our small line up… hopefully we’ll be able to utilize our speed to make the games exciting.)

Meanwhile, three-time runner up Malacañang-PSC Kamao will field two new players in their game against Judiciary Magis for the main game on Sunday, 5PM.

Kamao’s new players are Jeffrey Punzalan, 5’7 and Joseph Antolin Roque, 6’1.

 According to MAL-PSC Coach Raffy Gonzales, they will not be complacent this season because they know that all the teams have upgraded their respective rosters.  They promise to give all their best to repeat a finals appearance.

Coach Raffy Gonzales said, “Maganda naman pagkapasok nila dahil unang-una si Punzalan nag lalaro ng 1 and 2 [positions], yung Roque ganoon din 1,2,3 [positions] nilalaro.”

(Their addition is just fitting to our team, firstly, Jeffrey Punzalan plays position 1 and 2 and Joseph Roque plays 1,2 and 3.)

In the other court, expect a faster Judiciary Magis at UNTV Cup Season 8 according to head coach Joey Yabut following their acquisition of two new players.

“Expect niyo na takbuhan kami ngayon saka siguro gaganda na yung denepsa namin dahil may dalawa kaming player na bago.  Mukhang defensive din hindi lang scorer eh,” Coach Yabut said.

(Expect us to be running this season and also expect us to be more defensive because of our new players.)

Joey Yabut also added that they will fight toe-to-toe despite facing other teams’ big men.

“Naging problema namin yung depensa, yung isa kasi namin bigman makatutulong sya ngayon sa ilalim…pwede rin siyang mabigyan sa ilalim dahil marunon siyang gumalaw. Yung isa naman defensive player. Yun naman yung mukhang kapalit ni John Hall,” Coach Joey Yabut said.

(Defense was our problem before but one of our big men can be a reliable force inside the paint. The other player is a defensive player who can possibly replace the vacuum left by our former player John Hall.)

Prior to these match ups is the opening game at 2pm between the Agriculture Food Masters and Ombudsman Graft Busters. — Bernard Dadis

ASOP Year 8 Grand Finale nears

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2019

The finale is coming!

Last August 25 (Sunday), A Song of Praise Music Festival named its newest grand finalist for Year 8.

With her worship anthem titled “Sagwan” (Paddle), 31-year old school registrar Aiza Narag secured a spot at the eighth edition of one-of-a-kind music revelry celebrating praise music.

Sung by rising belter Louie Anne Culala of The Wishfuls, the praise song paints a picture of a long journey at the heart of the sea while huge waves and fierce winds roar, encouraging us to trust God to be able to make it to the shores of hope.

This year’s grand finals’ entries comprise of the following:

  • NOVEMBER: “O Ama” by Jhoter Jone Villan
  • DECEMBER: “Alay Ko” by Maddonna Rosas and Pau Ortiz
  • JANUARY: “Ikaw ay Ikaw” by Vanduane Badua
  • FEBRUARY: “Don’t Give Up” by Cherry Labating
  • MARCH: “Dios ng Katotohanan” by Darrel Joseph Villanueva
  • APRIL: “Pupurihin Kita” by Chris Givenchi Edejer
  • MAY: “Libo-libong Tala” by Carlo David
  • JUNE: “You are Wonderful” by Franz Loren Bigcas
  • JULY: “God Has His Purpose” by Lambert Reyes Jr. and Roman Cundangan
  • AUGUST: “Sagwan: by Aiza Narag

Two more tracks are set to complete the list of this year’s best praise songs.

Last year, visually-impaired songwriter John Paul Salazar bagged the Song of the Year title with P500,000 cash prize tax-free. 

Performed by OPM trio Bradz, his masterpiece titled “Tugtog”, is an upbeat gospel track about music as the sound of a praiseful heart for God. 

“‘Tugtog’ for me denotes a human heartbeat. One artist I heard said, ‘Music is a part of our lives, and our hearts always plays music.’ I made the song out of that idea and turned it into a song of praise to the Lord. Every time I sing for the Lord, my heart is in sync with the music!” said Salazar.

A first from last year, ASOP launched its Bro. Eli Soriano’s Choice with “Hiling” as the winning song written by Jeffrey Lim, also by a visually-impaired aspiring songwriter.

Conceptualized by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon and Filipino televangelist Bro. Eli Soriano, ASOP is set to upgrade its prizes for each year.

As another year-long singing of praises to the Almighty comes to a close, the grand winner will take home P800,000 while the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, will get P500,000, P200,000, and P100,000 cash prizes, respectively. 

Over the years, amateur and professional songwriters have ventured into the heart of crafting songs for the Almighty.

True to its advocacy of bringing back praise music in people’s lives, the first and only praise songwriting tilt in Philippine television continues to inspire talents and celebrate gospel music dedicated all for the glory of God.

Apart from celebrating inspiring talents, ASOP is also set to stage top-notch OPM acts.

Watch out for the grand finals of ASOP Year 8 on November.

For more information about ASOP Music Festival, visit its official website at https://www.asoptv.com. You can follow ASOP on Facebook via facebook.com/asoptv, Twitter at twitter.com/asoptv and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/asoptv/.

Amnesty condemns ‘disproportionate use of force’ by Hong Kong police

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 20, 2019

Amnesty International accused Hong Kong police on Friday (September 19) of torture and other abuses in their handling of more than three months of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests, but the police have said they had shown restraint.

Anti-government protesters, many masked and wearing black, have thrown petrol bombs at the police and central government offices, stormed the Legislative Council, blocked roads to the airport, trashed metro stations and set fires on the streets of the Chinese-ruled city.

Police have responded with tear gas, water cannon, rubber bullets, bean bags and several live rounds fired in the air, warning the crowds beforehand with a series of different coloured banners. They have also been seen beating protesters on the ground with batons.

Amnesty East Asia director Nicholas Bequelim told Reuters a field investigation had documented “disproportionate use of force” by the Hong Kong Police Force as well as mistreatment of detainees, including “a couple cases of torture”.

Amnesty also said the investigation had found “exclusive evidence of torture and other ill-treatment in detention” and called into question the Hong Kong government’s whole approach to the protest movement.

There appeared to be a “level of incompetence” among the police force, with some instances of teargas being deployed without proper justification or clear purpose to maintain public order, Bequelim said.

Amnesty called on the Hong Kong government to conduct a dialogue with the protesters, and establish an independent investigation committee to look into the accusations of excessive use of force by police. (REUTERS)

(Production: Xihao Jiang, Joyce Zhou, Jiraporn Kuhakan, Alex Solum, Peter Blaza, Angie Teo)

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